Scars form as a result of the body's natural healing process. Cuts and surgical incisions heal when the body produces excess collagen, forming new skin over these areas. Sometimes, the collagen fails to spread out and causes a visible mark on your skin; a telltale sign of your injury that lasts for years. While there are many home treatments on the market to heal scarring, you can provide your body with the natural nutrients it needs without these special products.
Throw out your cigarettes. Tobacco use inhibits your body's natural healing process by restricting oxygen needed to heal soft tissue, according to Nora K. Shire with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (see reference 1 for attribution on the importance of oxygen in old scar healing) . By eliminating the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, your body will be able to heal more effectively, even older scars.
Consume skin-healthy foods such as antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help promote healing and flush out free radicals that affect your skin. According to MayoClinic.com, some ideal foods to consider include blueberries, yellow or orange-colored fruits and vegetables, green leafy vegetables, beans, fish and nuts.
Ingest an over-the-counter zinc supplement or eat foods that contain zinc. Zinc is a mineral that helps your skin heal efficiently while preventing bacterial infection. Although zinc is best used when scars are fresh, old scars can still reap the benefits of zinc use. According to Mike Adams of Natural News.com, most doctors recommend ingesting 30 mg of zinc per day for optimal results.
Purchase vitamin C supplements for daily use. Vitamin C is required to boost collagen production and increase healing of scars both old and new. The required vitamin C intake range for an adult is between 300 mg to 1g per day.
Catch some sun in short sessions. Too much sunlight can worsen your scar and make it more visible; however, shorter exposure times can actually help heal your scar. This is due to the body producing vitamin D as a result of sunlight. Vitamin D is essential to your skin's healing by promoting collagen formation and distribution throughout your body. Do not exceed 10 minutes of sunlight when using this treatment. Always wear sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher when going outdoors for long periods of time.
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- Consult your physician for internal scar treatment options. These scars are not normally treated the same as surface scars and may require surgical removal when causing discomfort or other medical conditions.
- Do not attempt to heal internal scars with home treatment.
Sharin Griffin has been a freelance writer since 2009, specializing in health-related articles. She has worked in the health-care industry as a certified nursing assistant and medical technician. Griffin's medical expertise encompasses bariatrics and geriatric care, with an emphasis on general medicine. She is completing an associate degree in health-care administration from Axia University.